Q&A: “do you think it’s ‘correct’ for hetero ace/aros to call themselves queer?”
Hello, just asking cause I’m not entirely sure and I value your opinion… do you think it’s ‘correct’ for hetero ace/aros to call themselves queer. And I mean, is that something that should be allowed to be done without getting furiously shamed by other members of LGBT+ Because I’ve seen a lot of them get flack for using that term for themselves and now I’m not sure if it’s okay. I originally thought it was but… yeah. Thanks.
….ahhh, The Debate. which shouldn’t even really be the debate that it is in the first place, imho.
i generally prefer to stay out of The Debate because i feel like The Debate itself is an example of identity policing, most often on the part of people who do not believe that heteroromantic aces or aro heterosexuals are a part of the LGBTQIA community to begin with (and i couldn’t disagree more), but since you asked…
seeing as how queer is a slur, it should go without saying that one should exercise caution in using it, even if only to describe oneself. that equally applies to everyone.
keeping the history of the word in mind, if a heteroromantic ace or aro heterosexual person (or any ace or aro, really) feels like that word, history and all, describes them, my opinion is that they have the right to use it. it’s their call. after all, as an asexual and/or aromantic person, their sexuality is not normative, which (imho) relates back to the very meaning of queer as a word and identity.
there’s also the fact that not all heteroromantic aces or aromantic heterosexuals are cisgender. their gender may not be normative as well. that said, even without bringing their gender into the equation, the fact that their sexual and/or romantic orientation(s) are not normative should be enough to make people think twice about trying to police these people’s identity, imho.
i believe that people have agency over their own identity. they are the only authority on their identity. in a situation like this where the word for the identity is a slur, there is admittedly more involved than just identity and any person considering this identity must keep that in mind; if someone perceives usage of the word to be disrespectful or offensive there will be backlash. however, the person in question’s agency and authority over their identity still remains in tact and not i nor anyone else can override that.
tl;dr: i personally stand in solidarity with heteroromantic aces and heterosexual aromantics who feel like queer is a word they identify with or as. i hope that with growing awareness and understanding of asexuality and aromanticism, the backlash that these people face will lessen. i truly feel like this debate is a result of ignorance and subsequent erasure.